In Which Our Heroine Has a Cilantro-Flavored Brainstorm

17 April 2004

Here's the thing: there are lots of people I would like to see more of. ("Fine. I'll gain weight." No, not a Chris Knight moment.) Lots and lots, because as much as I say I don't like people, there are several counterexamples. But I don't always think of it. The consistently hardest ones are the people I have at one point seen daily. Some part of my brain expects them to just be there, because they were. But then there are people I only ever saw every few days or once a week or once a month, and I don't have as many expectations with them. So it sneaks up on me. It hits me all of a sudden when I'm reminded of it.

I bring all this up because Alec has started a livejournal, and I miss Alec. I never saw Alec very often -- maybe a few times in one month at most -- so I don't miss Alec with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There's no particular time at which I feel the universe owes me an Alec. (In contrast, I'm still put out with the universe for not providing a Michelle for quick conversation a couple times a week and coffee roughly once a week.) And yet, the livejournal reminds me that I miss Alec, that while I am not owed an Alec daily or weekly, a once-in-awhile Alec is not an unreasonable thing to want, or even to have. Ah well.

Last time Em came for dinner, we were talking about how often we want to see each other. Once a month or less, was the consensus, and it was a consensus, and that was good. It's upsetting if you and your friends have different ideas of how often it would be nice to see each other. Then one of you feels unloved and the other smothered. This way is good. But more often lately (that is, since high school or the middle of college) I want to see friends and they want to see me and this stupid time and money thing gets in the way. Harumph. Sometimes this grown-up thing, I'm not such a fan of it.

I've been wondering, too -- all of a sudden I thought about last Saturday night and the Carleton students who walked me to my car. They were expressing extreme doubts that anyone they'd met at the con would have reason to take the available condoms from the consuite. I said, mildly, "Other people's tastes aren't always yours; you'd be surprised" or something of the sort. I was not really paying attention to them, frankly; I had other things I was thinking about. I wonder. Was I part of the vast "sexless" mass of older folks to their college brains? Was I someone they considered "about the same age" and thus likely in agreement with them? Was I some middle ground, enough older to be sophisticated on this topic and young enough that they could still conceive of it? I don't know. I really don't. This is a very weird age, this mid-twenties thing. I'm not at all sure what to do with it.

It also occurred to Timprov and me, after the "use a condom if your behavior would make that wise" PSA at the beginning of the con, that there were people in the audience -- probably most of the audience -- who had not had this sort of PSA at every non-religious grown-up event of their lives starting with freshman orientation at college. Very strange. It was a bit like reading The Wild Swans, where the intellectual knowledge of "it wasn't always like this" coincided with reality. I would have said that living after the discovery of AIDS hasn't affected my life much directly (not to minimize the indirect affects, of course!), but I think it's just that the direct effects have merged in so seamlessly that I can't always say what they are.

Ah well. I finished The Proof House and am still willing to eat coriander -- in fact, I'm eager for it. Well, for cilantro. Because C.J. crashed on the couch here last night after working late on his laptop, we have a C.J. right here, and I had a brainstorm that we could use the time not used to call C.J., wait for him to get here, etc., to go out to Rice Paper instead. Wheeee, Rice Paper! So the plan is Rice Paper, then Uncle Hugo's, where we will meet up with Stella and Roo, then Sebastian Joe's and possibly Wild Rumpus and possibly Whole Foods and possibly a garden store of some sort. And then we will come home for a light and casual Saturday supper, and I will edit more of Reprogramming and read more periodicals and generally relax.

I read Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet last night after I finished The Proof House, and now I've started Portti, the Finnish mag that arrived this week. Its comic is very poorly translated ("How many of you is down here?"), but the rest of the issue is beautiful. I've also got other stuff piling up. I decided that I was not in the right mood for any of the library books, which is why I had not been picking them up, so back they go to try again later. I've got an F&SF and an Analog on the pile. I've got some newspapers from Omaha. And I have books, and will have more when we return.

So. Onwards. I'm dancing through my morning and looking forward to my day. And soon there will be cilantro in abundance.

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